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Putin, Merkel Discuss Defense Against US Sanctions Drive

Putin, Merkel Discuss Defense Against US Sanctions DrivePutin, Merkel Discuss Defense Against US Sanctions Drive

Sanctions imposed by the US President Donald Trump administration that could hurt companies in Germany and Russia were among the issues discussed by President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel during their latest meeting.

Merkel arrived in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi to meet Putin on Friday, around a year after her previous visit in 2017.

Both leaders have had their mandates reconfirmed by their respective electorate since–Putin during the March election, which he won a landslide, and Merkel after winning the September 2017 general election in Germany and, arguably more impressive, securing a coalition agreement after a daunting six months of negotiations, RT reported.

While the two leaders had plenty of issues to discuss, from humanitarian aid and the political transition in Syria, to the crackdown on a Russia-linked news agency in Ukraine, the latest actions by the US were among the top priorities.

Trump’s decision to ditch a nuclear deal with Iran by reimposing economic sanctions poses a potential threat to European companies doing business in Iran.

Merkel said the transatlantic partnership was valued by Berlin and that European nations are currently discussing ways in which the EU can provide a safety net to companies dealing with Iran.

European companies are similarly threatened by potential sanctions from the US over joint projects with Russia, particularly the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 will deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany, the biggest buyer of the fuel in Europe. With the pipeline working, the demand for transit services from Ukraine and other Eastern European countries would be reduced accordingly.

Kiev and other nations, which would lose out from the change, claim that the pipeline is a political project that does not make commercial sense.

The US, which wants the EU to reduce the share of Russian gas it imports in favor of liquefied natural gas produced in America, is threatening sanctions for European companies involved.

 

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